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Think integration, think workforce: Three steps to workforce integration

Better joined-up and integrated services to meet the needs of people using services and local communities is a key ambition for policymakers and practitioners working across health, care and support. Making coordinated care a reality is one of many approaches to improving health and social care outcomes. The coordinated care approach includes streamlining care pathways and reducing bureaucracy and unnecessary costs.

Workforce is an important part of integrating services; indeed, integration will not work without the workforce, making it an excellent time to give consideration to good practice in this area.

It is crucial to recognise the broad reach of the integration agenda, which includes relationships beyond traditional local authority and NHS providers. The majority of social care services are delivered by the independent sector, with an increasing number of local-authority trading companies, social enterprises and community-interest companies playing new roles in these areas. Integration of services is equally relevant and important for them, as it is for wider public and welfare services such as housing and leisure.

This practical resource provides a framework for people considering integrating health and social care services so they can think about the workforce implications and various different approaches. Whilst this practical resource intends to act as a tool to raise questions, and stimulate debate and discussion, its explicit intention is to strengthen the place of workforce on the integrated health, care and support agenda.